Skills

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The Rewards of Craftsmanship have Sentimental Value

Published November 3, 2015 by mollyglows

As you know, I love making my own jewelry, and I’ve got a few family and friends who say my pieces, given as gifts, have great sentimental value. I remember those necklaces specifically. They were clay beads threaded on narrow suede strips and painted in natural shades of green, brown and terracotta. I remember how easy it was, taking just a marble-size ball of clay and squeezing it for just a minute or so. Instead of moulding it into a ball, I flattened mind into a rough-edged, flat circle.
beads supplies
I remember those days I didn’t have the right tools yet and I simply used a pencil to put a small hole in it for the leather or suede to go through. I popped them into the oven and baked them for about 30 minutes at about 270°. Hooray! Perfect, and then I painted them. I remember I went onto the Internet and looked up some details on pottery designs from the southwestern pueblo people and found some awesome styles and designs. Everyone is creative, and look how thrilled my family were to receive my gifts which they still wear. Do a bit of research and maybe you’ll find that your talents also lie in jewellery

Boost your Designs with Jewelry Contests

Published March 7, 2015 by mollyglows
Wire sculpture jewelry

Wire sculpture jewelry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are like me, you feel like your skills will never meet those of established jewelry artists. Not those who work for large jewelry businesses, but those whose photos appear on sites like Pinterest. The intricate wraps, and innovative mounts holding semi-precious gemstones are intimidating! You also cannot depend on the opinions offered by friends and family. They might not know the first thing about wire wrapped jewelry, or hope you’ll reward their favorable opinions with free jewelry. Have you considered entering a jewelry contest?

Jewelry contests can create name recognition, but also lets you hear opinions from people, known for their own design talents. They have an eye for structure, form and durability. Your entry’s winning, placing or warranting honorable mention adds a little prestige to your portfolio, and ethical padding to your resume, if you seek work teaching jewelry sculpture skills.

Best of all, you can try new bead and wire combinations, and get feedback, before you try selling similar pieces. Why waste time and money creating several unusual pieces, then discovering the market won’t accept them? Instead, enter a contest and get a relatively free analysis of a single piece, before placing its image on your website.

I won’t be ready,  this year, but I’m working on a few designs for next year’s contests. I’ve chosen beautiful cloisonnes focals, Swarovski crystal beads and a peacock blue/green rattail cord for my first piece, and may  continue that color scheme through a broach and ring. It won’t be a set, but the pieces will be compatible.

Have you considered entering a jewelry contest?